About US

Wisconsin Veteran Suicide Prevention Task Forces and Coalitions 

Our public education website at BeThereWis.Com

Contact us at: TaskForce@BeThereWis.com

” You can help prevent Veteran suicides by becoming involved by Reaching Out and Being There for a Veteran. Only with the entire community can we make a difference! Check out our Calendar of events and share with your friends and family.” 

  – Dr. Bert Berger

Mental Health Division Manager
Milwaukee VA Medical Center

The Southeastern Wisconsin Veteran Suicide Prevention Task Force began in late 2019 with the urgent need to decrease Veteran suicides in Wisconsin. The task force was initially formed by Dr. Bert Berger, Chief of the Mental Health Division of the Zablocki VA Medical Center in collaboration with the War Memorial Center, Veterans Health Coalition, Center for Veteran Issues, Medical College of Wisconsin, and many community partners passionate about helping Wisconsin veterans. This website is a key component of our Public Education and Messaging for the Task Force to promote positive ways to prevent suicide!

The goals of the task force include increasing public awareness, increase and improving access to resources that help Veterans in crisis, provide clinical resources readily available to all Veteran and conducting research to inform policy and systemic changes to decrease veteran suicides.  Learn about the issues of Veteran suicide by reviewing these Data sheets and Reports:

Learn about Veteran Specific Data Sheets/Reports

Wisconsin Veteran Suicide Data Sheets:

National Veteran Suicide Reports

  • VA 2023 Annual report quote: “In 2021, 6,392 Veterans died by suicide, an increase of 114 suicides from 2020. When looking at increases in rates from 2020 to 2021, the age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate among Veterans increased by 11.6%, while the age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate among non-Veteran U.S. adults increased by 4.5%. Veterans remain at elevated risk for suicide. These numbers are more than statistics — they reflect Veterans’ lives prematurely ended, which continue to be grieved by family members, loved ones and the Nation. One Veteran suicide is 1 too many.”


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The principles of our Suicide Prevention approach:

  • Our Task Forces or Coalitions are based upon the principle that suicides are due to many factors and some are specifically related to Veterans.
  • In order to address the many factors which are the components of suicide, our Coalition or Task Force is has 4 specific Action Areas to address: the overall population (public Health Messaging), those at low risk (Outreach), those at high risk (Clinical) and to develop new innovations and address policy change (Research and Policy).
  • In each of our action areas we address Veteran specific priorities: 1. Identify Veterans to provide resources 2. Assist Veterans in the transition from the military and provide clinical and preventive services 3. Decrease lethal means of suicide. 

Public Health Messaging

  • Our Public Health Messaging Action Area team works hard to get make the public aware of suicide prevention for veterans through a local branch of the national “be there” campaign. Click below to see our recent messages and media events.



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Community Outreach


  • Outreach and Whole Health engages Service Members, Veterans, and their loved ones in using healthcare benefits, provide improved access to these resources and participate in health living behaviors as highlighted by the Veteran Mental Health Summit. Click below to learn more about important outreach efforts in our community.

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Clinical Resources


  • Connecting Service Members, Veterans, and their family and friends in crisis to appropriate mental health services at the VA and throughout the community with providers who understand military/veteran issues and culture. Click below to learn more about these resources.


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Research & Policy


  • Our Research & Policy Action Area team is conducting research about ways to decrease suicide rates among Wisconsin Veterans through policy and program change. Click below to learn more about this project.



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